Nana Visitor, late of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," begins performances as Roxie Hart in Broadway's Chicago May 8, at the Shubert Theatre.
Visitor joins Vicki Lewis (TV's "Newsradio" and "Three Sisters"), who plays Velma Kelly in the smash revival. The pair continue into July and perhaps beyond, a spokesman said.
Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper, once of The Life, took over as Billy Flynn April 12. The musical also has Marcia Lewis, the revival's Tony Award-nominated original Matron Mama Morton, belting out "When You're Good to Mama" nightly at the Shubert.
Cooper won the 1996 Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for playing soulful, corrupt Memphis in Cy Coleman and Ira Gasman's The Life. Now he's the slick, corrupt criminal lawyer representing murderesses in the musical comedy by John Kander, Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse. Cooper's Broadway credits include Passion, Someone to Watch Over Me, Rumors, Amen Corner and Getting Away With Murder.
Lewis, the daffy, vampy character actress who appeared in Broadway's Damn Yankees and on TV's "Newsradio," was last in Chicago in summer 2000. She played Velma on tour and in the Las Vegas sit-down company. Lewis, who first came to New York notice in an American Jewish Theatre revival of I Can Get It for You Wholesale, is heard on the cast album of the Damn Yankees revival (she was sports writer Gloria Thorp) and on concert or studio recordings of Pal Joey and Girl Crazy. Sharon Lawrence, Mamie Ducan Gibbs and Donna Marie Asbury were other recent Broadway Velmas. Actress Visitor is best known for playing Kira on "Star Trek" and is currently a regular on "Dark Angel." Broadway credits include My One and Only and The Prince of Grand Street.
Ann Reinking choreographed the show (drawing on the style of Fosse), Walter Bobbie directed and Barry and Fran Weissler produce. Musical numbers include "All That Jazz," "Razzle Dazzle," "When Velma Takes the Stand," "Roxie," "We Both Reached For the Gun," "I Know a Girl," "Me and My Baby," "All I Care About Is Love" and more.
Chicago performances continue at the Shubert Theatre, 225 W. 44th Street. For $20-$90 tickets, call (212) 239-6200.